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Goodbye, Patric: Penguins Trade Hornqvist to FLA, For Real this Time

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Pittsburgh Penguins score Patric Hornqvist

It took longer than anticipated. In fact, many around the Pittsburgh Penguins organization thought the deal was off. However, 24 hours after the first trade hit the rocks, GM Jim Rutherford and the Penguins trade of Patric Hornqvist for defenseman Mike Matheson was completed.

The deal appeared ready to happen yesterday. Ths second time around, Florida included bottom-six forward Colton Sceviour, too.

Matheson, 26, struggled in his last two seasons in Florida. The Florida 2012 first-round pick (24th overall) signed a new eight-year contract after his rookie season in 2016-17. However, the last two seasons met with decidedly mixed reviews.

The Penguins trade acquisition will cost the Penguins $4.875 million per season against the salary cap for the next six seasons. Matheson also has a salary escalator. His base salary will be $3.5 million next season but will climb to $6.5 million in the final three years of the deal. Also, the Penguins will owe Matheson a $2.5 million signing bonus in each of the final three years.

Florida Hockey Now beat writer George Richards described Matheson for us:

“I mean, at times, he’s been terrible,” Richards admitted. “But then he can be brilliant. Turnovers, right in front of his net, but man can he play.”

Matheson had 135 turnovers in 2018-19 but reduced that number to only 54 giveaways this season. Matheson is a swift skater with offensive skills but has struggled on the ice and with his confidence over the last two seasons.

This season, the 6-foot-2, 188-pound defenseman scored 20 points (8g, 12a) in 59 games, while averaging just over 18 minutes of ice time per game.

Colton Sceviour is an industrious bottom-six winger. Penguins fans may remember he fought Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese in February 2019. Aston-Reese fell awkwardly at the end of the fight and broke his hand.

Sceviour, 31, is not a massive winger but has enough size to succeed in the NHL. He’s not blessed with great talent, either, but scored 16 points (6g, 10a) in 69 games this season. He has one season left on his contract, which carries a $1.2 million AAV.

The move is the first for new Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito, a long-time assistant GM with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Hornqvist, 33, completed the second year of a five-year, $26.5 million deal. He scored 16 goals in 52 games in a rebound year. He was also widely credited with being one of the Penguins to show pushback and energy during the Penguins four-game Qualifying Round loss to the Montreal Canadiens in August.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now will in-depth analysis coming up.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Lynchie
Lynchie
1 year ago

terrible trade. Hornquist was a pain for opposition teams, loved being in front of the net harassing opposition goalies. He was also a force in the dressing room. we get another left hand defenceman with a 5 year contract at roughly the same price. Rutherford has no idea what he is doing now.

PensPatty
PensPatty
1 year ago

Looks like another really bad trade…. loved Horny and his spirit…. we’re gonna really miss him….

Bill L
Bill L
1 year ago
Reply to  PensPatty

He was one of a small number I hoped to see retire wearing the black and gold.

Bill L
Bill L
1 year ago

This trade confirms the most important fact: it’s time for Jim Rutherford to step down as GM. Thanks for your leadership in the past but that’s the past.

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
1 year ago

I keep telling myself this new D-man will be a silky smooth addition to the back six only to come back to reality and realize just another soft player on the team.
What has happened to the team? What is the team’s identity going forward? Is there a Pens player the other team has to keep an eye on so not to get blown up? Who fills 72 role on the PP? I’ll just stop while I’m ahead. Go Pens.

Bill L
Bill L
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

No one one presently on the team. Maybe Rust but who knows if he’ll remain a Penguin the way Rutherford is going.

Zane Gearhart
Zane Gearhart(@steelcityhockey)
1 year ago

GMJR is either a complete hockey genius seeing diamonds nobody else in the world can notice, or hes completely lost his mind and should retire

Karen Kasavage
Karen Kasavage(@kasavage9)
1 year ago
Reply to  Zane Gearhart

Bugjstad for a conditional 7th while retaining 2mil of salary. (Just have issues with that much salary staying on the books) Reports of JR interested in signing a pending FA 31 y/o RHD for 5 years in Chris Tanev. Hornqvist that while he had his negatives (age, injuries, rich contract) we gave up exactly what we need more of (energy, fight, tenacity, A NET FRONT PRESENCE). I have to say he has lost his mind. A smooth skater with a good shot is not going to help the Pens win more games when the shooting lanes will be so clear,… Read more »

David Heyl
David Heyl(@belfairroxi)
1 year ago

Letang & Murry are next. Thanks

BIG B
BIG B
1 year ago

One thing that everybody is overlooking is what the hell is Hatric Pornqvist going to do for a user name.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Wow, some of you guys are amazing. You can see into the future. Not a game has been played but it’s a bad trade. If you can see that far ahead, send me some lottery numbers and we can all be rich.

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

I believe he was sat the final two games of their playoff loss. That says a lot and it’s not positive.

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

If we’re going by playoff performances then our whole team is crap.

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
1 year ago
Reply to  HarkeyPuck

Maybe. 72 played and competed in the playoff loss. His coach decided to scratch him. I see a significant difference.

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

For the record, I always thought 87 & 72 on the same line in the playoffs was the best for the Pens. But that wasn’t happening anymore. While this trade is head scratcher, there is more to come for sure.

James
James
1 year ago

I feel like Matheson is probably a Shultz replacement?

Ujn Hunter
1 year ago

So… less turnovers than Letang?

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